Prior to the Prohibition era, the Corpse Reviver #2 Cocktail was originally meant to cure hangovers. Thus, the name "Corpse Reviver."
I first found a recipe for this cocktail in my 1948 edition of The Standard Bartender's Guide by Patrick Gavin Duffy (interestingly, the book does not contain a recipe for #1).
The least prominent, but the most interesting ingredient in this cocktail is absinthe. It has quite a history and ritual for consumption, and was often thought of as a hallucinogenic and associated with addiction. You can read more about absinthe here. It's pretty fascinating. It is a botanical liqueur with a very high alcohol content. It is traditionally prepared by holding a slotted absinthe spoon and a sugar cube over the absinthe and slowly pouring iced water over the sugar until it dissolves.
I used Libertine Absinthe 72, which is about 144 proof. A tiny bit goes a long way. If you can't find Absinthe, you can use Pernod or Pastis for the anise flavor.
I was reminded of this cocktail recently when we took a quick trip to Las Vegas for a concert. The restaurant we went to had it on the cocktail menu! With that name, of course I had to order it. It was super tasty. When I got home, I had to make it again.
Corpse Reviver #2 Cocktail Recipe
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
1 ounce Cointreau
1 drop Absinthe
- Add all of the ingredients except the cherry to an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake and then let sit for about a minute.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Add a cherry.